Natural History

There's a lot of natural beauty, wildlife, birds, and wetlands on the land and we want to keep it that way... This is what my parents wanted.

Elaine Bidgood

A Space for Nature

Bidgood Park preserves a variety of woodland, grassland, and wetland habitats. Trails wind through new-growth mixed coniferous and deciduous trees and shrubs in the eastern portion and shaded old-growth coniferous dominate in western portion of the park. Open wetlands of Ryan's River, fed by Cochrane Pond and draining via Petty Harbour, cross the centre of the park. In many ways, the diverse cross-section of vegetation, wildlife, and habitats found here is a representation of the Goulds landscape, pre-settlement. It is preserved in a natural state for future generations to learn, explore, and experience.

Birding Hotspot

Bidgood Park is a great place for sighting birds. Migrant birds, like yellow-rumped warblers and white-throated sparrows, arrive around May. These birds can be very vocal, at times filling the park with their songs. A number of waterfowl and wading birds such as ducks, bitterns, and cranes have been known to frequent the wetlands.

Remember bread is not healthy food for ducks, so feed them nutritious duck pellets, birdseed, oats, rice or simply leave them to forage naturally. Also, please use the provided receptacles and keep these habitats litter-free.

American Black Duck (Photo: Shawn Fitzpatrick)

Northern Flicker (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

American Bittern (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

American Redstart (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

Immature Bald Eagle (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

Barn Swallow and Bank Swallow (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

Black and White Warbler (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

Black and White Warbler (Photo: Ian Winter)

Cedar Waxwing (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

Cedar Waxwing (Photo: Ian Winter)

Eastern Kingbird (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

Eastern Phoebe (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

Osprey (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

Male Purple Finch (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

Sandhill Crane (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

Swamp Sparrow (Photo: Clyde Thornhill)

Male Yellow-rumped Warbler (Photo: Ian Winter)

White-throated Sparrow (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

Golden-crowned Kinglet (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

Male Yellow Warbler (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

Bidgood Park Bird List

(Sources: Lisa de Leon, nf.birds)
  • Alder Flycatcher
  • American Bittern
  • American Black Duck
  • American Crow
  • American Redstart
  • American Robin
  • Bank Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Black and White Warbler
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Blackpoll Warbler
  • Blue Jay
  • Boreal Chickadee
  • Brown Creeper
  • Cedar Waxwing
  • Common Grackle
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Eastern Kingbird
  • European Starling
  • Fox Sparrow
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • Gray Catbird
  • Northern Flicker
  • Northern Waterthrush
  • Osprey
  • Palm Warbler
  • Pine Grosbeak
  • Purple Finch
  • Red Crossbill
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Savannah Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • Swamp Sparrow
  • Tree Swallow
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Wilson's Warbler
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler

Biodiversity

Bidgood Park is home to a variety of other flora and fauna. Irises and lilies bloom in wetlands in July and tall sedges surround the boardwalk by November. Many butterflies and dragonflies including the Green Comma and River Jewelwing have been spotted here. Small mammals such as hares are year-round residents and even moose wander through occasionally to feed on the alders. Nature NL and the Wildflower Society of NL occasionally do guided hikes through Bidgood Park to observe and discuss flora and fauna. Check their sites for events and updates.

Young bull moose (Photo: Brad James)

Clouded Yellow Butterfly (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

Blue flag irises

Snowshoe hare

River Jewelwing Dragonfly (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

Wintering ducks

Duck houses installed in 2010

Nest sitting in a fir tree

Green Comma Butterfly (Photo: Greg Froude)

Pond lilies

Northern Bluet (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

Students from St. Kevin's visiting the wetlands

Lupins in bloom

Larch cones in winter

Pink-edged Sulphur Butterfly (Photo: Lisa de Leon)

Cochrane Pond Brook

The place was alive with singing birds. The musical trill of yellow-rumped warblers floated through the woods...

Bruce Mactavish - Local naturalist and birding expert